The framework for creating engagement tied to a social experience—which is the precondition for achieving an emotional and intellectual connection between the Millennial and the brand—must start with the deep understanding of the frames of reference that make the Millennial different as a demographic for branded goods.
The Millennial is looking for something concrete in exchange for their engagement and participation, but before thinking about informal and formal incentives, you need to establish a connection with your participants on a more basic level—talking about topics that interest them, using a tone that they accept and feel natural with, and offering ways to join the interaction on levels, and in ways, that are possible, relevant and attractive. Thus the second phase of FLIGHT is establishing a common Language with the Millennial.
The terms of engagement with this generation are changing. They are no longer passively accepting a new technology, idea, product, or service as it was originally intended. Rather, they are increasingly encouraging and empowering each other to participate in the creation and exchange of knowledge, experience, skill and ideas—their social capital.
The platform of technologies currently on the threshold of emergence, require a different capability to carry through on their promises, because the nature of the promises to be made has to change. Rather than asking 'How can I transfer my existing marketing campaign on this new platform?' organizations must ask 'What else can we now say? How else can I engage now, on what new topics?' The focus of this new capability is not on what technology can do, but on what we can do with it.
The new engagement must allow for the opportunity of a new narrative for brand marketing, as stories create a space where anything could be possible, a space where we all become the narrators of possibility, participating and performing as the story unravels. Organizations need to learn how to initiate a participatory dialogue with the Millennial, and empower them to directly affect the make-up of the dialogue and the substance of the brand. This is what Red Bull succeeded in doing by masterfully planning and executing the full spectrum experience of the Stratos Jump.